ALBUM REVIEW: Stygian Crown – Stygian Crown

Stygian Crown’s full-length debut sits comfortably within the Epic Doom Metal niche, but their particular style comes from a more aggressive mindset than many of their peers. This is especially apparent with the guitar work, which exhibits a grainy tone and bulldozing riff patterns that are chunkier than the Classic Metal-derived fare of more conventional outfits. It never goes full-on Death/Doom but the band’s declaration of a Candlemass meets Bolt Thrower sound certainly makes sense when viewed through this lens.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Vestal Claret – Vestal Claret 

While a self-titled album often serves as a summary of an artist’s particular style, Vestal Claret’s third full-length is unlike anything else they’ve done before. The Doom Metal that defined the occult collective’s past efforts has been completely phased out in favor of a subdued presentation that is somewhere between Folk and introspective Psych Rock. An esoteric aura still wafts with vocalist Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, Sumerlands) offering his signature mournful, nasally wail, but the vibe has more in common with Hexvessel or Sabbath Assembly than Pagan Altar. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Wino – Forever Gone

As much as Wino deserves his doom godfather status for fronting groups like The Obsessed and Saint Vitus, there’s something to be said for his more recent singer/songwriter excursions. Whether going it alone or with such collaborators as Conny Ochs, the acoustic style suits him surprisingly well and the volume contrast brings a fuller perspective to his haggard lifer persona. This is especially true for his third album, Forever Gone (Ripple Music), which may be his most low-key effort to date. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Age of Woe – “Gospel of Lies”

Ghost Cult is stoked to bring you the new stand-alone single from Age of Woe’s, “Gospel of Lies”. This is the veteran band’s first new music since their 2016’s An Ill WInd Blowing and kicks off the next chapter in the bands’ history. The death – doom – progressive – sludge band has been gaining steam over the last few years. The band has performed at vanguard metal festivals such as Inferno Metal Festival, Incubate Festival, SWR Barroselas Metalfest, Berlin Swamp Fest, Bloodshed Fest, and Scorched Tundra. “Gospel of Lies” is also the first new song with Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound / Morbid Evils / Goatburner). Jam out to the track now!  

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ALBUM REVIEW: Red Mesa – The Path to the Deathless – Desert Records

While The Path to the Deathless (Desert Records) continues down the psychedelic stoner journey that Red Mesa put forth with 2018’s The Devil and the Desert, its execution is grittier. The atmosphere carries hints of desolation within its imagery of open desert plains and the grainy guitar tone has a certain nastiness even when it isn’t overtly aggressive. There’s also not much emphasis on acoustic playing this time around, and even the tracks that do feature it come with a more noticeably somber air.

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PODCAST 96: Grant of In The Company of Serpents on “Lux”

Ghost Cult caught up with In The Company Of Serpents leader Grant Netzorg to discuss their new album Lux, which is out now. We chatted with Greg about the new album, the history of the band, how the birth of his daughter and raising her has had a direct impact on his music, the other members of his band and how they contribute to the unique blend of Black Metal, Sludge, Doom and American genres, the incredible Denver metal scene, Greg’s hopes to eventually perform the entire album live, and what the concert industry might look like post-coronavirus lockdown. You can purchase and stream Lux here and check out our chat! 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Xibalba – Años en Infierno

Despite the intense hostility of Californian Death / Hardcore bruisers Xibalba, the Hispanic heritage of most of its members, coupled with predominantly Latin lyrics, give a sense of mystique – some may say fatal romanticism – to the music that adds to the magnetism. Fourth album Años en Infierno (Southern Lord Recordings) sees the band delve further into its more brutal side for what is rumoured to be its last album for some time, if not ever. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkultokrati – La Ilden Lyse

Most reviews and articles concerning Norwegian dark hearts Okkultokrati seem to contain slightly differing classifications of the band’s sound. I’m no different: if you’re going to mould the likes of Motörhead, Emperor, and Sex Pistols into a ball of spewing hate, you’re playing Punk / Black ‘n’ Roll as far as I’m concerned. Anyone care? Of course not. More interesting is the decision of certain band members to change their stage names in a move that seems purely designed for new album La Ilden Lyse (Southern Lord Recordings), and which corresponds with a further evolution of the sextet’s direction. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: In The Company Of Serpents – Lux

Denver Stoner/Sludge outfit In The Company Of Serpents has spent most of its eight years as a fluctuating two-piece, with only vocalist and guitarist Grant Netzorg as the constant. The arrival of Vermin Womb‘s JP Damron to the drumseat has seen an expansion to a trio with the addition of ex-Black Sheep of Kali stringman Ben Pitts and, maybe as a result, fourth album Lux (Self-Release) adds elements of invention and atmosphere to the core sound, demonstrating welcome growth. Continue reading